US to overtake Saudi crude oil production in 2018

21 January 2018
IEA says production in the US will exceed 10 million barrels a-day

The US will take Saudi Arabia's place as the world's second-largest crude oil producer in 2018, according to a new report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

US crude supply is forecast to push past 10 million barrels a-day (b/d) during the year, according the Paris-based intergovernmental organisation.

It predicts the US will rival Russia as the world's biggest oil producing country.

"This year promises to be a record-setting one for the US," it said.

US production growth has been driven by a boom in unconventional production using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing  technology.

Increasing production in the US is likely to be part of a wider expansion in non-Opec oil production, according to the IEA.

"Rapid US growth and gains in Canada and Brazil will drive up non-Opec supply by 1.7 mb/d in 2018, versus last year's 0.7 mb/d increase," it said in its report, which was published on Friday 19 January.

Expanding production from non-Opec nations could exert a downward force on oil prices over 2018, undermining the agreement to cut production that has been hammered out by Opec and 11 non-Opec nations, including Russia.

On 30 November last year it was announced that the oil price cut agreement would be extended until the end of 2018 in an effort to support oil prices.

Over the last three months global crude prices have increased by 17 per cent.

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